“My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, ‘Come with us, let us lie in wait to shed blood; Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, and whole, like those who go down to the Pit; We shall find all kinds of precious possessions, we shall fill our houses with spoil; Cast in your lot among us, let us all have one purse’— My son, do not walk in the way with them, keep your foot from their path;” Proverbs 1:10-15
One of the most valuable lessons parents can pass on to their children is how to respond to the lures of sin. This lesson is of great value to Christians of all ages and stages as well. For it is another lesson concerning what the wise do.
We know that the lures of sin are many. They come in different forms. Some of them are overt, while many of them are covert in how they are presented to us. The lures aren’t what they appear to be. Yet, they all share the common feature of tugging and pulling the godly to stop listening to and following God’s law, to stop listening to the instruction of their father and forsake the law of their mother (v. 8), even just for a moment. For in many cases, that’s all the time that is needed to pull us over the line.
Like the twisted trickery of Satan with Adam and Eve in the garden, sin often looks, sounds, or otherwise seems attractive and tempting to many layers of our flesh. It can too easily disarm our defenses and commitment to obey God. As Solomon told his son, sin is truly enticing. Further, the wicked are untiring in seducing others into the path of destruction. They want to have company. The more the merrier. Therefore, because they are so enticing, Solomon’s instruction about what to do when sinners entice is of great importance. Take it to heart today!
“If sinners entice, do not consent” was Solomon’s message. Notice the example and teaching tool he gives. When teaching others, it’s often helpful to not only tell them what to do and not do, but to give them an example of what the temptation could look like, coupled with what the godly response must be. Solomon’s example was one of highwaymen who sought to entice others to join their gang. These highwaymen weren’t part of a philanthropic fraternity or social club. Their siren call was to “Come with us”, “Cast in your lot among us.” In other words, “We’ll show you a profitable life. Let’s join forces. We’ll enjoy the spoils of that which we plunder together.” (v.14) These highwaymen were blood thirsty (v.11), greedy, covetous men who preyed on the innocent and unarmed. They were thieves and murderers with dollar signs in their eyes (v.13). Fortune and fame on the wrong side of the law was their treacherous lifestyle. Now, some of you may view this example as a “no brainer” to stay away from. However, don’t underestimate the allure of sin.
Solomon said the answer of the godly to such men’s call must be a resounding, No! I won’t come with you. I won’t do what you do, or have fellowship with you. Beloved, Christ has set us free from the bondage to such sin, and all other. Let us not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1). He has given us His Spirit to help us not give consent to the enticing of sinners. He has given us His Spirit to help us keep our feet from their paths (v. 15).
Though undoubtedly difficult, by God’s grace, we must cut that which pulls us away, keep on the narrow path, and continue to walk faithfully with the Lord. Remember God’s blessings in doing so –”Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2) May we be those who stand in the path of godliness. May God’s law be our meditation and delight. It’s both a good defense, as well as a good offense when sinners entice.